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Nov 6, 2013

The 11th annual OCCUR International Conference

The Organization of Caribbean Utilities Regulators is hosting its Eleventh Annual International Conference in Belize.  This year’s theme, ‘Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies’ sees the convergence of over fifty delegates from the Caribbean, United States, United Kingdom and Africa to discuss environmental issues in electricity and water, among other topics.  The Public Utilities Commission is a member of the regional body and this morning Minister Joy Grant, who spoke during the launch of the two-day symposium, told News Five about Belize’s place in the global picture.

 

Joy Grant, Minister of Energy

“It is important that regulators get together and share experiences. As I said this morning, there is always some tension between regulators and government, but we have to work together. As I also said because that means that we will the be working towards common goals and in Belize I must say that I have a very good working relationship with Mister John Avery and the commissioners as we really address issues that are extremely complex and changing our design.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Joy Grant

“What is the focus of this two day symposium in terms of the participation of other countries from within the region?”

 

Joy Grant

“The focus is really looking at utilities on a borderless society as the team says because in globalization the borders are coming down. And for our countries, investors really want to think about a market of ten million and not half a million or one and a half million. So I think they realized that this is a challenge. So they decided to get together and look to see how can we are a region work together for the benefit of individual countries. To that end of course, we must talk about the CARICOM secretariat. We had the secretary general here about a week ago. But saying that is easy, but the challenges have always been there with CARICOM; that we know what we are supposed to do, but it is very difficult for us to do it. And it is no different with regulators and looking at legislations and policies and procedures. But we have to start somewhere and this is an excellent start for us to discuss the issues.”

 

The conference is one of several activities that is expected to accomplish OOCUR’s objective to assist in the improvement of utility regulation, to foster transparent and stable utility regulation.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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